Football has always been a part of our family, and we bleed red and blue. I think that everybody feels the same way about their sporting team and why everybody loves sport in general. You believe in something that isn't complicated, just people playing and working hard. You connect to people who believe in the same thing, and grow up with something that becomes a part of you and your tradition. In a world that is ever changing and always trending, there is nothing greater than something that connects us. This tradition bonds families, homes, people and communities, because regardless of who you are and what's happening in your own life, you support your team through every trial and tribulation without ever giving up hope or pride of what you believe in. One constant and consistent player, captain, trainer and assistant coach of our beloved Knights is Danny Buderus...
Once a knight, always a knight. The Knights are
A massive part of my life for 20 years, and I'm sure always will be. 'To be the player everyone wants to play with' is the clubs motto, and every player strives to fulfil it. I know I played, and trained by that.
Can you tell us about the first time you knew you wanted to devote your life to Rugby League
I came down as a 14 year old to watch Newcastle play Manly in 1991 and was captivated by the crowd, the players and the rivalry. From that moment my focus was on trying to fulfil my dream of being an NRL player.
We love how our game evokes such emotion and passion whether you are playing or watching. Regardless of what kind of person you are it's the kind of game that will bring grown men to tears, women to silence and children to sit still and be in awe. Winning the grand final in 1997 and 2001, and coming home to thousands of people lining the streets, how do you describe that feeling and the passion of the red and blue army
Loyal, honest and knowledgeable. Playing for the fans and running out in from of them becomes an addiction. After we won in 2001, with thousands of fans lining the M1 all the way home from Sydney, and once we got to the stadium we had 15,000 fans there waiting to greet us at 3am.
You have achieved so much in football being a grand final winner in the NRL and English Super League, captained for NSW, played for Australia and crowned Dally M player of players. Can you tell us the biggest high and low of your career so far
Leaving the club in 2008 was a low point, and it was a really tough year for many reasons, but I was up for a new adventure over in England. It was great to come back in 2012 and play the most games for the club ever, 257, and finish on my own terms. I am very proud of that record. It's hard to go past the 2001 grand final win and captaining my country as high points in my career.
Rugby League players are heroes to so many. Who has influenced and inspired you
It's hard to say this being from NSW, but my hero was the King Wally Lewis growing up. I just loved his passion and how he commanded the ball when the game was on the line. The same goes for Michael Jordan. Pressure was what drove them to new levels.
The Danny Buderus Super Clinic mentor your rugby league players in regional communities. How important is development in particular communities for the game and what got you involved
I have 3 clinics that I run each year which I had around 700 kids attend last year, and it's growing each year. If I could help one kid go on to have fun and fulfil some dreams in life playing NRL or whatever, then that excites me. I'll keep evolving the camps so one day this happens.
What does Danny do when he is not being an NRL hero and how do you escape the attention that comes with being a local legend
Honestly, I love trying out new coffee shops, going to the beach, and relaxing with locals in and around where we live. My kids love growing up by the beach and the parks and the outdoor lifestyle, so this is where you'll pretty much always find me.
Being the trainer for the Knights last year and the assistant coach this year, were there moments you wanted to get back on the field to play with your team and what do you think we will see from them in 2015
We had an extraordinary year last year in many ways, and there were many games where it was a call to arms sort of occasions, and I would have loved to have been on the field for these to help out. 2015 is an exciting for the club and we will need a few unknowns to really stand tall and take the club forward.
1. Favourite team mate of all time
I loved all my team mates but loved playing with Andrew Johns. His mental strength to me was his greatest skill. Mark Hughes's humour along with Joey's really got the team going. Also, special mention to Ben Kennedy and Steve Simpson.
2. I cannot live without
3. Best opponent you have played against
Darren Lockyer. He had those Wally Lewis attributes.
4. Song on repeat
Nothing comes to mind, but I love how songs remind me of occasions and experiences.
5. One to watch
Young Jack Cogger. He is 2-3 years away.
6. You will never
See me give up.
7. My hidden talent is
Haven't got one.
8. Guilty pleasure
Red wine and coffee.
9. Life motto
Standards that you walk by are standards that you keep.
10. The 2015 Premiers will be
Souths will go close to being the first back to back premiers, but they are the hunted team and everyone's coming after them.